“Fair trial denied” claims campaigner found guilty of obstruction
Thursday 11th May 2017 12:02 News Posted by Nigel P.

 

Christopher Morris who was arrested at the eviction of Rehka Patel from her cottage in Simmondley, Glossop, last June, has been found guilty of Obstruction at Manchester Magistrates Court and fined £400. 

It is understood that 42- year-old Mr Morris from Maldon in Essex was not present when the verdict and sentence were handed down by District Judge Purcell who also ordered that he pay a further £600 costs.

Mr Morris left the court during the afternoon sitting, saying he did not think he was “getting a fair trial”.

Chrissy Morris following his decision to elect trial after pleading not guilty to charges of Obstruction at Tameside Magistrates Court in  March. The offence related to an incident involving bailiffs at the eviction of Miss Rekha Patel (pictured right) from her home near Glossop, last June 

The case that was listed for trial over two days was then heard in Mr Morris’s absence.

The case had been transferred from Tameside Magistrates Court in March, in order to give Mr Morris time to gather witnesses to his defence case and allow him to digest the prosecution’s evidence disclosure.

On arriving at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court on Monday, Mr Morris claimed that he had still not received the evidence against him from the prosecution.

District Judge Purcell told Mr Morris he could read them now and gave him an hour to read them.

Mr Morris who claims to be dyslexic said: “ the time was totally inadquate” he was also understood to have been unhappy that several prosecution witnesses had not turned up for the hearing.

Mr Morris left the court but the evidence against him involving the incident outside Rekha Patel’s cottage continued to be heard from the prosecution side.

There was no evidence offered from the defence as Mr Morris was representing himself and witnesses supporting his defence case, were not called.

The offence related to an incident where a High Court bailiff was obstructed as he was trying to enter Miss Patel’s home to evict her and her supporters and take possession of her cottage following a dispute over damages a court awarded to her neighbour.

The original damages amounting to £8000 were paid by Miss Patel but she was then presented with a further bill a year later purporting to be costs from the legal firm that represented her neighbour. These added costs that are subject to dispute had accumalated to over £60,000.

The writ of possession order related to the recovery of this sum which Miss Patel refused to pay.
Following the eviction that Miss Patel has argued was “wholly unlawful”, Miss Patel has since re-entered her home.

She has later re-sold the cottage for £2 to a public limited company which it is understood she pays rent to.

Miss Patel’s continued occupation of the property is subject to an ongoing legal case at the High Court of Justice in the Manchester Chancery Division.

Speaking on his conviction and fine, Mr Morris said: “ My right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights has been denied. I intend to appeal to the Crown Court.”